Why progress at COP26 is crucial

COP26, which is taking place in Glasgow, is the latest in a series of meetings through which the world’s governments attempt to deal with climate change.

COP stands for “Conference of the Parties”: these 197 parties are the United Nations member countries, plus a few small non-UN member countries and the European Union, all of which support the Framework Convention on Climate Change. This was set up in 1992 to organize a global response to what most people then called the “greenhouse effect.” It’s COP26 simply because this is the 26th meeting.

The location of COP meetings changes each time. The last meeting was in Madrid in 2019. There was no COP in 2020 because of Covid-19. The most important COP so far was the 2015 meeting in Paris, which agreed to “limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees,” over pre-industrial levels.

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